Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Distinguished Professor Warren Buckland Respects the Academic Boycott of Israel

Distinguished professor, author, and editor Warren Buckland , who teaches film theory, contemporary Hollywood cinema, and film narratology, has decided to uphold Palestinian human rights by declining to participate as a keynote speaker at the “10th International Tel Aviv Colloquium on Cinema and Television Studies: Cinematic Traces of Things to Come,” a conference sponsored by Tel Aviv University scheduled for June 8-11, 2014.
This colloquium seeks to invite its participants to lend their international scholarly credentials to an Israeli academic institution, and in effect to cooperate with the academic normalization of Israel’s human and civil rights violations of its Palestinian citizens.  The colloquium touts itself as a "Research Workshop of the Israel Science Foundation."
Tel Aviv University is complicit in Israel’s unequal treatment of Palestinians, the majority of whom are citizens of the Israeli state.  Tel Aviv University routinely suppresses political dissent, some recent manifestations are documented in the Electronic Intifada (http://electronicintifada.net/content/tel-aviv-university-bans-palestinian-speaker/13307) and Ha’aretz (http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.584153). 
It is hoped that  Professor Warren Buckland's refusal to participate in the colloquium will encourage necessary further discussion of BDS and the Academic and Cultural Boycott at Tel Aviv University and in film and media studies.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

OPEN LETTER to Neil Young from a farmer in Gaza

Four of the Abu Sa’ad children.
 (Photo: Ruqaya Izzidien)
Dear Neil Young,
My name is Nasser Abu Said, I am a farmer in the Gaza Strip, Johr Al Deak.We were poor but we had a family and we had a life, even if we lived by the Israeli border where incursions and regular shooting at our farm workers from Israeli soldiers and jeeps limited how much we could farm there. They knew who we were, it is open land, and they did not attack us during Cast Lead in 2009.
Then, on a quiet day in July 2010 my wife Na’eema and 5 children were enjoying the sunshine. They fired 5 tank shells and a flechette shell at our house. My five children were there and my wife Na’eema ran outside to bring in Jaber the youngest. She was hit by the nails of the flechette shell and I could hear small noises coming from her. I knew she was dying. For hours the Israeli military prevented an ambulance from coming. The children watched as she lay dying in front of their eyes. I was holding myself in, especially in front of the children. The children were crying hysterically and some had wet themselves. I lost my wife and the children have never recovered.
They attacked again with missiles in April 2011, this time burying 2 of my children in the home, injuring others but we all survived. We gave up once the house was half destroyed a second time, and have been living in tents ever since.
By going and entertaining the Israeli audience, many of whom will have committed similar atrocities while in uniform, you are giving a green light to Israel, telling them its business as usual, even if my story has happened so many times in Gaza. Is the blood of my wife not worth anything? There is a chance to help make a difference and joining the boycotts until Israel stops ruining families through occupation and siege, like they did for mine.
The international community must do something and it’s up to people of conscience to lead, so that what happened to my wife and family does not happen to any other farmers in Gaza.

Related Links

Neil Young, Tell Me Why You Would Play for Apartheid Israel